There is no reason these days for people, for workers to be exposed. With proper surveys, training and equipment, our friends and family members should NOT be dying from exposure to asbestos. On top of just caring for people, companies are responsible under Worksafe BC regulations to have their employees trained if they are working with or around any asbestos containing materials.
I get it, your not sure if your home or business contains asbestos. Along with terabits of information out there on when, how and where asbestos was used in the construction of homes and commercial buildings, the safe, and in most cases required, fallback is to have your building surveyed. Worksafe BC has very specific regulations on who is qualified to conduct a survey (BC Hazmat has the training and equipment to do such surveys). Worksafe BC also has very specific regulations on the training and experience requirements relating to anyone who will be entering or working in a building containing asbestos.
Note, these requirements relate to not just the folks doing the construction work, but anyone and everyone who may enter or work in a contaminated building ( See section 6 ).
Here’s the part that gets me. Whether you are an individual or a company, training for and knowing how to recognize asbestos, remediate asbestos and supervise asbestos removal is accessible and inexpensive. Why put yourself or your employees at risk when you don’t have to. BC Hazmat Management, for example, has several different courses on asbestos that will give you the knowledge, confidence and if required, the qualifications to work with or around this most common, yet dangerous substance.
If you check with Worksafe BC you’ll see that every month they are fining companies large and small for not protecting their workers properly regarding asbestos. My recent research showed one company operating in the lower mainland was fined almost $1 million dollars for putting workers at risk. Then, of course, there are the premiums that will go up for infractions. The cost of proper and recognized training is tiny in comparison to the bottom line cost to a business if fined, let alone the value of somebody’s life.
So who’s responsible for keeping people from dying from asbestos exposure? First and foremost it’s you. If you are working on or anywhere around a building, please take the time to understand the hazards and get yourself trained. If required, speak to your employer about safety training. So many companies out there are great and caring in this regard. Please don’t use that “it’s only this one job” argument. One job is all it takes to shorten your life. One job can have you missing your daughter’s graduation or not being there for her to walk her down the aisle. One job can mean the difference between taking your grandchildren to the petting zoo or teaching them how to bake a cake. One job can take you away from all of us so much faster than any of us want to lose you. If you are an employer, please take care of your employees. Not only is it actually cost effective (fines, lawsuits, loss of business) but it’s your job to see that each and every person on your payroll goes home safe and is there for their families as you are for yours.
For me, this is the hard part of working for a company that provides safety training. This is not a want or might have, but a need. The qualified and recognized training our company provides makes a real difference in peoples lives. Seeing and hearing people take risks is not in the cards for us. Our people are out there taking the surveys and understand the risk. YOU MUST GET TRAINED and be safe. It’s as simple as that. Please call and speak to our trainers and get the facts and information. We want you to be there for your friends and family. I for one just can’t take another “I’ll be OK” comment from a construction or demolition worker. It just makes me want to say “WHY!”
Here are some further links to help educate you the risks and regulations:
Director of Marketing & Communications
BC HAZMAT Management Ltd